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Lights, water restored to most Foothills residents
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As of mid-Tuesday, the lights were back on for all but seven customers, an Arizona Public Service official said.
In further good news for the thousands of Foothills-area residents who found themselves without water as well as power throughout Monday after a severe storm Sunday evening damaged an estimated 70 power poles, Far West Water and Sewer also has restored water service to all of its customers.
For a while Tuesday, it appeared that Mother Nature wasn’t finished dishing out storms. For much of the day, Yuma remained under cloud cover, and a flash flood warning was still in effect, said Valerie Meyers, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix. By evening the cloud cover, though, had diminished and no more storm activity was forecast for the Yuma area.
However, it will remain humid throughout the weekend.
Of the 19,000 customers who lost power during the height of Sunday’s storm, only seven still were without electricity by Tuesday afternoon and were expected to be up by early evening, announced Alan Burnnell, APS spokesman.
In addition, crews continued to install 26 new steel poles in a 2-mile stretch of Mesa Avenue to replace wooden poles splintered and reduced to kindling by a micro burst that went through the area Sunday. The poles carry a 69-KV transmission line that feeds energy to the Foothills substation as well as a 12-KV distribution line.
The substation was without power for nearly 30 hours after high winds Sunday took out not only the transmission lines on Mesa Avenue but also transmission lines along South Frontage Road.
The substation outage left about 12,000 Foothills-area residents without power for more than a day.
"The significant impact to customers who were without power for 36 hours is not lost on us," said Daniel Froetscher, vice president of energy delivery for APS. "We thank them for their patience and courtesy and we thank them for their support."
Froetscher said APS crews had restored service to the substation at 8:30 p.m. Monday after eight poles along South Frontage Road were replaced. Over the next few hours, power was restored to 11,500 Foothills residents and a few other customers in scattered areas.
The power outage also impacted Far West Water and Sewer, leaving thousands of the utility’s customers without water as well.
By 8:35 p.m. Monday, power was back on at nearly all of Far West’s facilities and crews began phasing in water service, said Ray Jones, a consultant for the utility. By 10:30 p.m. Monday, normal water pressure was restored to the south side of Interstate 8 where 65 percent of Far West’s water customers reside.
About an hour later, normal water pressure was restored to customers north of I-8 and east of Foothills Boulevard. It took a little longer to restore water west of Foothills Boulevard due to flooding damage.
But by 4:22 a.m. Tuesday, full water service had been restored to all Far West customers, Jones said.
Sewer service remained operational throughout the power outage due to the use of emergency generators, he said.
During the outage, APS handed out 18,000 pounds of dry ice and more than 26,000 pounds of regular ice Monday at the Foothills Walmart.
In addition, Diamond Brooks was giving away water Monday in the Foothills. Jason Witherow, general operations manager, said the company gave away 9,700 gallons of water as well 149 10-pound bags of ice and donated 52 cases of half-liter bottles of water.